Nutanix Enterprise Cloud : Managing Beyond Physical and Virtual Data Center Silos

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 1.22.33 PMApart from the recent marketing stunt at .NEXT conference that has been talked about extensively, Nutanix made several exciting announcements at the event. The company is repositioning itself as an enterprise cloud player vs another hyperconverged infrastructure vendor.

Most data centers are heterogenous in nature with workloads running on both physical and virtual infrastructures. The complexity of managing these resources is very high as there are multiple different vendors and technologies that serve the physical and virtual resource needs of applications such as Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange, and Citrix VDI. Container technologies have also emerged as an alternative to virtual machines and this adds another layer of manageability for the IT administrator. At .Next, Nutanix announced the Acropolis Container Services (ACS) for containerized applications and emerging microservices architectures that can now be deployed on the Nutanix platform with persistent storage.

Prabu Rambadran, Director of Product Marketing shared the following image on his blog which shows very well how Nutanix can manage across a common fabric for mixed data center workloads.

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For workloads such as Oracle RAC and DB2 that may continue to run on bare metal servers due to specific application needs or licensing constraints, Nutanix announced Acropolis Block Services (ABS) which enables databases running on servers from Cisco, Dell, Lenovo and HP to leverage the Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric for higher data performance and availability.

The data center infrastructure management war is not a new one and with new technologies such as containers, the war just continues. VMware, Simplivity, Nimboxx and others are all trying to solve manageability issues across disparate but converged or hyperconvered infrastructure in a private or hybrid cloud environment. The real question is how the adoption of such technologies will change with the popularity of the public cloud. Over the last couple years, public cloud deployments have grown and Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and now Oracle have reported significant cloud revenue. In April 2016, both Microsoft and IBM reported ~$10B cloud based annual revenue but it is unclear how much of that is Software as a Service (SaaS) vs Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Google did not share revenue but cited public cloud as a huge opportunity. Amazon reported $7.9B in IaaS revenue in 2015. Oracle’s total cloud revenues in Q4, FY16  including IaaS was $2.9B.

WikibonAs per Wikibon, Public Cloud IaaS is 3.5x the size of true private cloud adoption. That equates to about $25B of public cloud and $7B of true private cloud revenue in 2015. This means vendors operating in the hyperconverged infrastructure management space need to have a stronger hybrid cloud story and also realize that as enterprises increasingly move their workloads to hyperscale data centers, their customers will not need to directly manage physical and virtual infrastructure resources; instead they will be more concerned about meeting and paying for Service Level Agreements (SLAs). That also means vendors such as Nutanix and others will need a stronger and differentiated play in the public cloud.

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